Monday, 29 April 2013

Still a Fool, but....

....not a Walkin' one. As some of you know from previous blog entries, I had to skip the Martian Marathon due to knee issues. Well, it developed into something a bit more than that. I'm going to lay out the timeline here, without theorizing or emotional comments,

1. March 10, 2013: PR'd at the Corktown Race 5K.  Training for the MM going well. Then I begin to get a pain in the back of my left knee, but only when in full flexion.
2. March 28, 2013 : I contact my physiotherapy clinic. No pain when racewalking, but want the knee checked as I can't kneel on it at all. Begin lots of ART work (Active Release Technique: really a great therapy.). Through this and subsequent sessions including a new stretching program, my legs (particularly my hammies) feel far more flexible than they have in years. The knee pain continues. I ice frequently. In taper anyway, so not a lot of walking needed.
3. April 4, 2013: My left knee begins to swell up quite alarmingly and get quite hot. I have a very mild off-and-on feverish feeling; general malaise. I had already booked a doctor's app't for Monday (annual checkup kind of thing), so I decide to wait until then to have it checked. Limping pretty steadily now. Ice and Ibuprofen hand-in-hand.
4. April 8, 2013: My doctor orders x-rays and an MRI. I get the x-rays done right away. We have to wait for MRI appointments, usually a long time. He suggests that the PT folks can also help with the swelling and pain, so I return for a few sessions. Hurts to sit in car.
5. April 13, 2013: The Martian Marathon. I'm a no-go, but a friend picks up my shirt for me. (He did well in the 10K). Up until now I had considered going as a volunteer, but by race day can't stand very long. Pain at night is the worse. I sleep, at best, for two hours at a time before waking up with my whole left leg in real agony and the other one quite uncomfortable. Ibuprofen is my new best friend. Mornings are bad, and just trying to get out of bed is a study in pain. I do find that I get what I have been calling a "sweet spot" or "golden hours" from about 3:30 - 9:00 pm when I don't feel too bad and my mobility is better.
6. April 14-18, 2013: Things worsen. My left ankle now is swelling quite largely. I have to cut down socks to fit and "rebuild" my NB 730 so I can fit that foot in. Even sitting actually hurts my leg. Getting up from a sitting position very painful for first couple of seconds. I know I won't be able to sit on a plane. We cancel our long-anticipated trip to Hawai'i. When I call to cancel our full moon tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation, I decide to adopt a sea turtle (I really wanted to swim with the turtles). His/her name is Kuhukuku (Hawai'ian for turtle-dove; the word sounds like the dove's call). Here's a pic of him/her (too young to identify as male or female yet):
7. April 19-24, 2013: Bad to worse. Both of my shoulders hurt a lot, and that original "back-of-knee" pain is now niggling at my right knee. Swelling in left knee and ankle unabated, even after icing. Range of motion in knee and shoulders very limited. I "walk" (limp severely) like someone 110 years old and can't go far.  Hawai'i would have been a big mistake if we had gone. I get a TENS machine. It helps some with the shoulder pain but not the root problem. I have discovered that floating in a pool feels pretty darned good. 
8. April 25, 2013: Doctor's appointment. Bloodwork  and bone scan ordered and an appointment with a Rheumatologist scheduled. [Still awaiting my MRI]. He prescribes a short course of prednisone for the inflammation. I get the bloodwork done the following morning. Reviewed the fact that I had a brush with drug-induced lupus in my youth (late 70s) after a massive allergic reaction to sulfa drugs.
9. April 29, 2013: The prednisone kicked that inflammation in my knee right down and I have been able to actually sleep at night with no pain! No longer the "bed of pain". I also stopped the Ibuprofen while on prednisone and have found I don't need it now with the swelling down. With the swelling down, some splotchy bruising showed up on the back of my left knee. My mornings are still stiff, but getting out of bed is no longer as great a problem. The ankle swelling is still there, but perhaps not as great. Shoulder pain persists. The pain in the back of the knees is still there, especially when walking limping, but my "sweet spots" of the day are so much sweeter lately. I can put on my own socks. I have developed a dry cough: every little seemingly insignificant thing gets noted at this point.
10. The near future: Bone scan booked for May 6th. The prednisone runs out in a couple of days. Back to see my doctor after tests all done. I can call before that if needed. Waiting on MRI and will check when my specialist appointment is.
So there it is in white-and-black (and some red). I'm in a pretty good place right now; still lots of pain, but nowhere near what it was, and I'm sleeping at night! Of course, I've had endless theories running through my head, but this has really made me think on a day-to-day basis. I know I may never race again, but I'll be really happy if I can just walk normally. I've rediscovered a love of reading and have been devouring books by the pile; am doing some astronomy with my own little 4" reflector and have embarked on a study of anatomy which I've wanted to do for a long time. Learned some new card games and continue with board games and computer games (we play them together: two heads are always better than one in adventure games!). Focus shifts; life continues.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A Farewell to Earth pt. 2

And Aloysius is gone, for now.
Before he left, though, he was awarded a consolation prize: a hand-knitted TARDIS to keep him cozy on those long nights in suspended animation (as you know, "it's bigger on the inside"). After all, he didn't get a shirt or a medal.
It comes with a pet Dalek
Happy Trails, little friend, 'til we meet again!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Farewell to Earth pt. 1

Al will be leaving Earth tomorrow to embark on his 5-month journey to the Orion Nebula for the Trapezium Triathlon. Hopefully his knee will heal nicely in suspended animation and we'll see him back here next year fit as a fiddle for the Martian 2014!!

We took him to Slow's in Detroit for a farewell party:

Checking out the cask ale tap.

It was all just too much for the little guy. That's a lot of beer for a small Martian taking painkillers.

Now he needs to get his bags packed and his travel documents in order:

...and we'll wave a fond farewell to our overly-sensitive little friend. Tune in tomorrow for his launch!

See the rest of Al's story here: : Actual Martian to Compete as Terran  ,   Training for the 2013 Martian Marathon,  Learning the Ways of the Terrans,  Taper Time for the Martian Marathon ,  The Continuing Saga of Aloysius Eon ,  A Martian's Many Moods,  Martian Shoe Endorsements,  And then there are Martian Trail Shoes , So what do YOU do at Taper Time? ,  The Martian Transformation ,  A Martian Dreams of Carb-Loading and Like a Bolt from the Blue

BTW, this is the 100th post of Walkin' Fool!


Friday, 12 April 2013

Like a Bolt from the Blue

Yes, folks, it's very sad but unfortunately very true: although registered for the half, both Aloysius and I will be unable to do the race this year due to injury (first time in three years we've missed!). With my knee swollen to the size of a Martian moon and still waiting on the results from x-rays and an MRI, I won't be doing much more than hobbling around for a while, popping Ibuprofen (the word "cartilage" has been bandied about, but who knows at this point). Poor Al - he got the ricochet! We want to wish everyone participating tomorrow the very best of times - fleet feet, injury-free and PR all the way! We'll be with you in spirit every step of the way; us and our bags of frozen peas. And, if you hit a slump, think of Al flashing you a Vlabgrot and stick with it!


Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Martian Dreams of Carb-loading

Aloysius misses his home sometimes. Here's where he'd like to be when it's time to carb-load tomorrow:


Ahh....on a hover seat outside his favourite pizza place basking in the warm red glow of a rising moon with a Planet Porter! It doesn't get much better than that!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Martian Transformation

Aloysius wasn't always the wiry, athletic Martian you see today.


    And he had to work hard to get there - the only way that really works: eating right and exercising.

Lots of Martian miles.

Cut him some slack, folks - that's a lot of weight for such a tiny fella.
...especially given Earth's gravity. He's pushing more than 10 times his body weight! Martians are tough little dudes.

See more of Al's story here: : Actual Martian to Compete as Terran  ,   Training for the 2013 Martian Marathon,  Learning the Ways of the Terrans,  Taper Time for the Martian Marathon ,  The Continuing Saga of Aloysius Eon ,  A Martian's Many Moods,  Martian Shoe Endorsements,  And then there are Martian Trail Shoes and So what do YOU do at Taper Time?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Martian Shoe Endorsements?!?

It was bound to happen. Aloysius is, after all, a bit of a celebrity back home on Mars, so I guess it was just logical that the Mars Rover shoe team would seek him out. Just hope his head doesn't get any bigger than it already is.

Tomorrow's sneak preview: Trail shoes!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

A Martian's Many Moods

We all know taper time is difficult, and many of us get rather emotional (as well as go on gear-buying sprees, LOL!). Anyhoo, here are Aloysius' moods this week:


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Taper time for the Martian Marathon -

Aloysius and his training buddies back on Mars discuss footgear for the Martian Marathon:

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Learning the Ways of the Terrans

Aloysius has been immersing himself in Terran culture the past few days whilst in taper mode for the Martian Half Marathon. Discovering:
....and keeping up with the folks back home over an espresso:

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Training for the 2013 Martian Marathon

Aloysius ("Al") Eon has been training with me here on Earth for the Martian Marathon: he's finding the difference in gravity here (as opposed to on his native Mars) is taking a toll on his form. Good thing it's time to taper!

Al working hard with his Terran training buddy.

Find Al's full story here: Martian to Compete as Terran

Monday, 1 April 2013

Actual Martian to compete in Martian Marathon!

Don't know if any of you saw the latest edition of The Daily Perihelion, but it's all about the Martian Marathon! (BTW, Al assures me he'll be doing the half; with a little help from a Terran friend!)